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In the spirit of July 4th 2017

Jane Bryant Quinn

By Jane Bryant Quinn

Declare your independence from sales brokers working for themselves; Get a real fiduciary advisor who represents you.

All advisors say they can be trusted to do what’s best for clients. To make sure, here are five questions investors should ask any advisor – and the only acceptable answers. Get responses in writing and signed.

Will you put in writing that you are a fiduciary to me and all clients at all times?

A: Yes. No exceptions. No kidding.

Will you put all agreements and important disclosures in plain writing?

A: Yes. Ditto.

Will you clearly disclose in plain written language and honestly explain any material conflicts you cannot avoid?

A: Yes. Ditto.

Will you get written, informed consent from me to proceed with your recommendations when a conflict is present?

A: Yes. Ditto.

Will you provide me a good faith estimate of investment expenses when we begin working together? Thereafter, will you provide me with a statement of what I pay and what you earn from your advice to me on an annual basis? Or, at minimum, a good faith estimate, annually, thereafter?

A: Yes. Ditto.

Do you always avoid recommending proprietary products and principal trades that benefit you or your firm because they are such big conflicts?

A: Yes. Ditto.

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